September 1, 2016

Ragweed and You

Welcome to ragweed season

September is here, and that means it’s ragweed season. The end of summer is already something every child dreads, but ragweed makes the back-to-school season more difficult for some kids.

Ragweed is an allergen that affects loads of people, and most don’t even realize they’re allergic to it. It comes at a time of year when we’re so busy doing other things that allergies are the last thing on our mind. Ragweed, like a large number of other allergens, causes cold-like symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and irritated eyes that parents attribute to their child being surrounded by more kids.

How to know if ragweed affects your child

When determining if your child is allergic to ragweed, it’s always best to get an allergy test. But if your son or daughter seems to have a cold every time September rolls around, it’s safe to say that ragweed is a major suspect.

The unfortunate news about ragweed is that it’s going to be worse than usual in the coming years. Rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could extend the ragweed season by a month or two.

What can I do?

Luckily, there are a multitude of ways for you to reduce the amount of ragweed pollen that you or your family are exposed to.

  • Get in the habit of checking your local pollen count to understand when allergies may be worse than usual.
  • A quick face wash and change of clothes is a life saver for allergy sufferers. A single ragweed plant alone can produce up to a billion pollen grains throughout its season. You don’t want that sticking on your skin and face.
  • A HEPA filter helps fight ragweed and other allergens by eliminating them from the air in your home.
  • Seek treatment through immunotherapy. Allergy drops build a long-term resistance to allergies that will treat the problem at its source.
  • Keep your windows closed, at home and in your car.